Octopus as food
Humans of some cultures eat octopus. The arms and sometimes other body parts are prepared in various ways, often varying by species and/or geography.
Octopuses are sometimes eaten or prepared alive, a practice that is controversial due to scientific evidence that octopuses experience pain.
Dishes by geographyEdit
Takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps (tenkasu), pickled ginger, and green onion. Takoyaki are brushed with takoyaki sauce, similar to Worcestershire sauce, and mayonnaise. The takoyaki is then sprinkled with small strips of laver and shavings of dried bonito.
In Korea, some small species are sometimes eaten raw as a novelty food. A raw octopus is usually sliced up, seasoned quickly with salt and sesame seeds and eaten while still squirming posthumously.
Nakji bokkeum is another popular dish in Korea. It's a type of stir-fried food made with chopped octopus.
In Mauritius and Rodrigues, octopus, known by its Mauritian Creole name "Ourite" is commonly eaten especially in coastal regions as it is found abundantly in Mauritian waters, although a sharp decline has been observed recently . Popular octopus dishes include the masala octopus curry or boiled octopus in spicy tomato sauce, known as the "Daube".
In Portugal octopus is eaten Lagareiro style (roasted with potatoes, herbs, onion, garlic, and olive oil), stewed with rice ("Arroz de Polvo"), as well as breaded and then deep fried, with rice and beans.
Hongzhang is a famous Singapore delicacy. The ingredients include steamed octopus limbs, and a sauce of pork skin, pepper and flour. This chewy dish is common in Singapore and most traditional Chinese restaurants would serve it.
On the Tunisian island of Djerba, local people catch octopuses by taking advantage of the animals' habit of hiding in safe places during the night. In the evening, they put grey ceramic pots on the sea bed. The morning of the following day they check them for octopuses sheltered there. Also unlike its other Maghreb neighbor, seafood, including octopus is used extensively in Tunisia, grilled, roasted, in couscous, pastas or chorbas.
A common scene in the Greek islands is octopuses hanging in the sunlight from a rope, just like laundry from a clothesline. They are often caught by spear fishing close to the shore. The fisherman brings his prey to land and tenderizes the flesh by pounding the carcass against a stone surface. Thus treated, they are hung out to dry, and later will be served grilled, either hot or chilled in a salad. A common preparation technique involves classic Greek spices and seasonings, often including olive oil, garlic cloves, oregano, pepper, and lemon juice. On the whole, octopus is considered a superb meze, especially alongside ouzo..
Octopus is eaten regularly in Hawaii, since many popular dishes are Asian in origin. Locally known by their Hawaiian or Japanese names (he'e and tako, respectively), octopus is also a popular fish bait.
Octopus heads are high in selenium and are a risk for cadmium poisoning, even in small amounts. In 2010, over 29 mg of cadmium—14 times higher than the permitted level—was found in the heads of octopuses imported to South Korea from China.
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- "Takoyaki". Encyclopedia of Japan. Tokyo: Shogakukan. 2012. OCLC 56431036. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
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- "Seoul squirms over octopus head war". Reuters. October 21, 2010.
- "Poisonous Cadmium Found in Octopus Heads". Arirang News. September 13, 2010.